Moore leads BMW after 54 holes | NevadaAppeal.com
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Moore leads BMW after 54 holes

DOUG FERGUSON
AP Golf Writer

LEMONT, Ill. – Ryan Moore has never had a better chance to accomplish so much.

With a 5-under 66 on Saturday to take a one-shot lead in the BMW Championship, he is in great shape to reach the Tour Championship for the first time. That would mean a shot at the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus, and exemptions to the Masters, U.S. Open and British Open.

All he cares about is the trophy being handed out today.

“Just like any golf tournament, I came here to win,” Moore said. “That’s what I’m here for. I’m not here to try and qualify for the Tour Championship. I’m here to win the Western Open. All that other stuff takes care of itself. If you play good, you get in those things. I’m going to just focus on trying to stay patient, exactly how I have the last few days. Play hard and see what happens.”

Moore was at 8-under 205 and had a one-shot lead over Dustin Johnson (68), Charlie Wi (70) and FedEx Cup leader Matt Kuchar (70).

The main attraction today figures to be well down the leaderboard.

Tiger Woods had a 68, his first time under par at Cog Hill this week but not enough to help his cause of advancing in the FedEx Cup playoffs. He was eight shots back and will be paired for the first time this year with Phil Mickelson, who had a 70.

It will be the first time they have played together since the final round of the HSBC Champions in Shanghai last November, Woods’ second-to-last tournament before his personal life became unraveled.

Today will be their 26th time playing together. Woods is slightly ahead – 11-10-4 – in posting the lower score.

That could only add to Woods’ unlikely bid to get to the Tour Championship. He is seven shots behind where he likely needs to finish to get into the top 30 in the FedEx Cup standings. Woods has never been kept out of a tournament because he was ineligible.

For Johnson, it will be the second time he has been in the final group during the FedEx Cup playoffs, and it’s becoming more familiar. He was three shots back going into the last round at The Barclays, where he faded with a 72.

Johnson did not look like he would have this chance when he made two bogeys early in his round to fall five shots behind. But starting with No. 7, he ran off five straight birdies, including a wedge on the 10th that he nearly holed.

“Any time you get on a run like that, especially on this course, it changes your momentum,” Johnson said.

Kuchar hasn’t been nearly as sharp as he was in the opening round when he shot 64, but he’s starting to feel better and is hopeful of hitting his stride today. He wound up with a 70 and was just one shot behind.